The First Wave - Masterclass with Matthew Heineman

Join us for a Masterclass with Matthew Heineman in conversation with SDI Director, Noe Mendelle, about the Oscar shortlisted THE FIRST WAVE.

By RSVPing to this event, you will receive a password-protected link to watch the film and the Zoom details to join us on the day.

With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s THE FIRST WAVE spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered.

'It’s both a vital piece of historical record that bravely captures the unseen horrors of the pandemic and a generous celebration of human dignity whose existence feels miraculous.' - Variety

Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. The Sundance Film Festival called Heineman “one of the most talented and exciting documentary filmmakers working today”, while Anne Thompson of Indiewire wrote that Heineman is a "respected and gifted filmmaker who combines gonzo fearlessness with empathetic sensitivity.”  

He directed, produced, shot and edited THE FIRST WAVE, a feature documentary film with exclusive access inside one of New York City’s hardest-hit hospital systems during the harrowing first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employing Heineman’s signature approach of character-driven cinéma vérité, he and his team embeds with a group of doctors, nurses and patients on the frontlines as they face one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered. With each of their distinct storylines serving as a microcosm through which we can view the emotional and societal impacts of the pandemic, THE FIRST WAVE is ultimately a testament to the strength of the human spirit. 

Most recently, Heineman directed Amazon’s THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN, an astonishingly intimate portrait of one of the biggest international music superstars of our time.

Additionally, Heineman recently co-directed with Matthew Hamachek the two-part documentary TIGER, which he also executive produced. In 2019, he received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America for his narrative debut, A PRIVATE WAR. Heineman directed and executive produced THE TRADE, a Showtime docu-series that chronicles a different topic each season, from the opioid crisis to human trafficking, through the eyes of those most affected. His documentary film CITY OF GHOSTS, which follows a group of citizen-journalists exposing the horrors of ISIS, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed worldwide by Amazon Studios before having its broadcast premiere on A&E. CARTEL LAND, which explores vigilantes taking on the Mexican drug cartels, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and won three Primetime Emmy Awards, including Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Best Cinematography. He previously co-directed and produced the feature-length, Emmy-nominated documentary ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare; collaborated for two years on the Emmy-nominated HBO series, THE ALZHEIMER’S PROJECT; and also directed and produced OUR TIME, his first documentary about what it's like to be young in America.  

Heineman, a 2005 graduate of Dartmouth College, is based in New York City.  


18 January 2022, 02.00PM - 04.00PM



Will you come?